London Montage

Journey to London Team Ambassador

With five days to go until London 2012 Closing Ceremony –  a view of the journey to Team London Ambassador.

When Boris Johnson announced The Team London Ambassadors’ scheme in July 2010, people were encouraged to register their interest by the end of that year.  Of the 33,000 who did so, 22,000 completed the application form by the deadline of 31 March 2011; subsequently, 16,000 applicants were shortlisted and invited to recruitment events which were held in 10 London Volunteer Centres between April-August 2011.  By October, offers were made to over 8,000 successful applicants.  During this Olympic Games year, volunteers have attended three training sessions, the first held locally; the second at Stratford International station (where the large video screen wafted disconcertingly in the breeze created by the high-speed trains passing nearby!) and finally at the venues where the Team London Ambassadors will be located for their shifts.  The sessions covered ‘London at Games Time’, a range of customer services (which included films on “how not to act” in certain situations, followed by “how TO act” – and the opportunity to act out some probable scenarios).  The venue training gave further insights into the specific locations e.g. public access, travel and amenities.

As you will have seen the Team London scheme has followed a similar pattern to the Olympics Games Makers scheme (albeit on a slightly more manageable scale), with a selection of events and 3 compulsory training sessions.  These involved volunteers taking in their local venues, Stratford International Station and City Hall where we collected various items of uniform, including the ubiquitous trilby hat.  This time, the uniforms were delivered (albeit in a slightly battered cardboard box!).  The dark pink/purple colours (not sure of the technical descriptions of the shades) bear some similarity to the Games Makers’ uniforms but are in a different, less formal, design and there’s considerably less of it; lacking the high visibility jacket.  Needless to say the trousers are too long for shorter people like me; but the trilby is too big.

To end on a quote (mentioned at the end of the second training session) from Maya Angelou: “I have learned that people will forget what you said and will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

So, keeping this and all other positive thinking acronyms and tips in mind.

A further blog will folow on the ‘inside experience’ of a London Team Ambassador.